If you're thinking of creating a website, then there are things you need to consider. I'll list them here so you can make a plan. Whilst creating a website is very easy these days, getting it right is not. You really need to plan the layout, the content and the navigation. If you plan to include lots of pictures, you may need to either take them yourself or purchase them from a supplier of graphics. Merely copying images you find from a Google search, technically, that's breaking the law. Almost all content out there is private property or copyrighted, so you can't just take it and use it on your site.

Similarly, layout and site code is copyrighted too in many cases, so copying the look and navigation of someone else's website is an infringement of their copyright. So plan ahead and gather your content together first. Source images and make sure you have the right to use them.

Some website providers will offer you a system to build a website and use their image store to produce content that suits your needs. These sites are great for the novice site builder but you need to beware that sometimes the templates they offer are often limited in features and you may have to purchase extra add-on services to get the site doing what you want. Further, taking the site to another service provider can be difficult.

So, it's more difficult and complicated to build your own site but using a Content Management System (CMS) like Joomla, its easier than you think. With lots of free add-on modules and plug-ins, adding extra features is very easy too.

So here's the important list of things you need to consider when planning a website.

1. A domain name. Typically this consists of a website name followed by an suffix. www.mywebsite.com is an example. In the UK you can register many different suffix, .com, .co.uk, .uk, .biz etc. There are loads to choose from. However, .com domains, being the first suffix designated in the USA, they are typically more expensive to register. a typical .co.uk will cost you about £14 for two years registration.

2. A hosting company. If you know someone else who has set up a website, ask them what their hosting company is like to deal with, their costs and more importantly, their support service. If they've experienced problems, how long did it take to resolve the issue and get the site back up. A website that is down a lot is of no use to anyone and will put off repeat visitors.

3. Content. What is it EXACTLY you want to put on the website? If it's a family photo album then consider Facebook, its free and easy to use. If you want to display your photographic prowess, then consider how you want to display your photos, how you want visitors to view and if necessary download the images, indeed, do you even want them to? They are yours after all and if you make your livelihood from them, having them freely downloadable could cost you. There are many sophisticated ways to show your images but prevent them from being taken from your site.

4. Running costs. Web hosting is not free. It costs money to host a website, the servers cost money to buy, house and run so no-one is going to offer you truly free hosting. Many sites that do, offer limited facilities and often have advertisement surrounding the site, it's how they earn revenue to cover their costs. Low price packages can offer a good return on investment if your site is fairly static. That is, you upload the content and change it once or twice a week. For a more dynamic website, say hourly or more often updates, you may need to have a faster server with more storage space. Cheaper "Shared" hosting means your site shares a web address with many other sites and therefore may run more slowly or even crash if it gets very busy. A virtual Personal Server (VPS) can often give better results, faster refreshing and be more dynamic. So your hosting budget needs careful consideration. You may also want to consider getting revenue to help with the costs from advertisements, linking or even donations.

So there we have it. There are a few more incidental things to consider but this should give you an idea to begin planning your site.

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